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The Small Back Room Review

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★★★★★

One of the less well-remembered Powell/Pressburger films, this is a riveting wartime drama. Gimpy bomb disposal expert David Farrar, in the role that should have made him a major star, struggles with his own alcoholism and a new, deadly species of German infernal device. Powell goes in for some noir-like Expressionist effects as Farrar is menaced by a giant-sized liquor bottle but switches into semi-documentary mode for the almost unbearable suspense final€ as our hero edges along the shingle beach to peer into the guts of an unstable bomb. With sterling support from Kathleen Byron as the love interest and Michael Gough and Jack Hawkins as stiff-upper lip officers who get trembly when the time comes to cut the wires. Forget Speed, this is the great Bomb Disposal movie.